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Hi I'm Ryan Withrow

I grew up in Mesa, AZ. I love to Crossfit and run. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I studied construction management and now work for a worldwide construction consulting firm, which is based in the United Kingdom. I work at a large microchip manufacturing plant, where my firm provides construction consulting services. I love to spend time with friends and family, hike many of Arizona's best desert trails, attend Arizona State University football games, and run!

Why I am a Mormon

It all starts with a simple invitation… If you will allow, I would like to share the story of how I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As with almost any conversion story, I believe that the process begins by a member of the Church attempting to share what it is that they believe in. I was fortunate enough to have such a member do exactly that for me when I was a sophomore in high school (2000-2001). Her name was Cami and she always invited me to youth activities and to church when the opportunity permitted. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to accept the Gospel at that point in my life, so I kindly turned her down. However, her efforts were not in vain. The unlikeliest event leads to a search for the truth… When we think about someone joining our Church, we don’t often associate that process with death. However, my story includes such an incident. Allow me to explain. During my high school years, I played football and had a good friend named Ryan. I frequently offered him rides home from practice when he was still too young to drive. Early one morning in February of 2003, my senior year, I was in getting help from my math teacher. A girl walked in the door and announced the death of my friend Ryan. I was absolutely astonished and almost didn’t believe the words I had just heard. A good friend of mine, whom I had just talked to a week before, was now dead. Where does the Church come in? I made the decision to miss school one day the next week and attend the funeral services of young Ryan. I found the address of where it would be and made the trip. Upon arriving, I noticed that the building was very beautiful and bore the logo of the Church to which it belonged – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The moment I walked in the door, I felt something different: a sense of peace, joy and happiness – feelings that are not typically experienced at a funeral. As the services progressed, I noticed a new vocabulary, one that I had never before heard. The words “Gospel” and “Atonement” entered into my mind for the first time in my life. It was something new and unheard of, but oddly enough, familiar. I listened attentively as Ryan’s mother spoke and tears were jerked from my eyes. Something was telling me that this “plan of salvation,” of which she was speaking, was true. I felt that the people present in this room had something in their lives that I did not, and for some reason, I felt some desire to get it. Not oblivious… Now, one must not assume that I was completely oblivious to “Mormons.” I grew up my entire life in Mesa, Arizona, where members of the Church come in great abundance. I knew two things for sure: many, if not all of my friends were members of the Church, and that Church members believed in something called The Book of Mormon. I had a newfound desire to get my hands on this book, and to find out what this religion was all about. And so it begins… In mid-March of 2003, one of my good friends, Bret invited me to help with his Eagle Scout project. I accepted the invitation, and after school the next day, we made the trip in his truck with another friend of ours, Camden to where the project would be. As purely inspired by the Spirit, Bret directed Camden to a Book of Mormon, situated in a holder in the passenger-side door. He told him to open to a verse he had recently read in the Book of Alma. My interest was piqued, and for the first time, I saw the book I wanted so very badly. However, I was too scared to say anything, and consequently, I remained quiet. Upon returning that evening, I worked up the confidence to ask Bret for the book. He returned, gave it to me, and told me to read it. That night, I read up to 1 Nephi 9. From the moment I picked up the book, I fell in love with its message and did not want to put it down. Two guys in suits… The next evening, I found myself sitting down in Bret’s living room with his family and two guys dressed in dark suits, both of whom were named “Elder.” (This is a reference to missionaries, who are representatives of the Church. "Elder" is a title that all missionaries share). We watched “Finding Faith in Christ.” I will admit that I cried during the movie and loved every bit of the lesson. I decided to continue investigating and to come to church. I eventually finished the lessons and accepted everything the Elders taught me about being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ. My conversion came one night as I was kneeling in prayer after reading a portion of The Book of Mormon. I remember specifically asking if what I was learning was true. Overwhelming feelings of peace and joy came into my heart. I was feeling the Spirit and it was answering my prayers. After that time, I knew without a doubt that The Book of Mormon was true. I felt it in my heart and had the knowledge given to me in my mind. With this new knowledge, I recognized that the next step was to be baptized. I asked Bret to baptize me, and the ordinance was performed on May 3rd, 2003. The following day, I was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and given the Aaronic Priesthood by Bret’s father. I will always remember my baptism, the Spirit I felt, and the covenants I made with my Heavenly Father. A bigger call to serve than expected… My first year as a member of the Church was a long and difficult one, but well worth the battle. Being the only member in your family isn’t always the easiest thing, and I also received much persecution from old friends. In May of 2004, I received the Melchizedek Priesthood and a call to serve as a missionary in the Virginia Richmond Mission speaking the Spanish language. I left my non-member family in July of 2004, not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into, or just what it was that I was leaving behind. And the parents? During the beginning months of my mission, I heard many things from many friends about the progress of my parents in the Church. They had been attending church off and on, and allowed the missionaries to come by every so often. I was always excited to hear new news, however, I sometimes felt as if I was too far away at a critical time in my parents’ lives. News came from my mission president one Saturday morning in June of 2005 that he had just spoken with my stake president, Richard (the father of Ryan), about my parents. The news was that my parents were to be baptized the following Saturday. My president expressed his desires for me to go home to perform the sacred ordinance. I flew home and had the once in a lifetime opportunity to baptize my parents and witness for myself as they made their first covenants. I noticed a difference in them. The Gospel had changed their lives for the better, as it had mine only two years before. Looking to the future… I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the opportunity that I had to serve Him as a missionary. I now understand more fully the plan of salvation, as talked about by Ryan’s mother. I know that this is the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

My faith defines me. I haven't always been a member of the Church, but since my conversion and baptism, I've had the opportunity to serve in many callings. Such callings include a missionary, a missionary leader, and a home teacher. Home teaching affords the opportunity for each family in the Church to be visited by other members in their home at least once a month. Members of the Church serve willingly and without recompense.

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Ryan Withrow
Tithing is a tenth part of all increases annually. As a member of the Church, I have the opportunity each week to pay 10% of my income as tithing. Funds for tithing are sent to Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. From there, the leadership of the Church makes decisions on where to spend this sacred money, which represents the financial sacrifice of members of the Church. No money is ever used to pay the leadership, as the Church utilizes a lay clergy. Funds are used to build meetinghouses (chapels), temples, and for humanitarian aid wherever it may be needed. Funds are also used to produce Church materials, such as The Book of Mormon and The Bible. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Ryan Withrow
I attribute most of the growth of the Church to the vast missionary effort the Church utilizes. I had the opportunity to serve as a missionary for two years. During those two years, I learned Spanish and attempted to share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Latinos in the Richmond, VA area of the United States. I was fortunate enough to establish lifelong friendships and witness first-hand as people I taught entered the waters of baptism and began their journeys as members of the Church. Show more Show less